Complementary and Alternative Treatments for Cancer Denver, Boulder

We are located in Boulder and serve the greater Denver area. We work with a number of cancer centers and individual oncologists. Integrative oncology is no longer an “alternative” approach to cancer care. Increasingly, prestigious academic cancer centers (for example: Harvard, Memorial Sloan Kettering, MD Anderson, Duke, UCSF) are incorporating integrative oncology within their practice of taking care of patients living with and beyond cancer.

As an integrative, naturopathic oncology practice we commonly see patients who are interested in learning about what “other” things they can do to improve their chances of beating cancer.

Integrative oncology recognizes the fact that when our patients are able to receive the entire prescribed course of cancer treatment they will achieve the best results. During an integrative oncology encounter, in addition to the traditional medical history and physical, many other subjects are addressed that are very important to the holistic (whole) approach to cancer care. We spend time reviewing my patient’s diet, physical activity and psychological stress.

These factors have been implicated in the development and progression of many cancers. Recent studies have suggested that when these lifestyle factors are optimized, significant improvements in outcomes have been reported (such as: improved survival, decreased risk of cancer recurrence, reduced symptoms and side effects.) Optimizing nutrition and diet is a key component in integrative oncology, and is one of the many topics discussed during these encounters. Increasingly, studies suggest that by eating a diet rich in foods containing a variety of natural anticancer compounds, as well as limiting consumption of specific types of fats and carbohydrates, an individual is creating an environment within their body that is not conducive to cancer development and growth. There are literally thousands of natural compounds that have been discovered in various plants and other foods that, when taken for prolonged periods of time, may reduce the risk of cancer development and progression.

Complementary Therapies and Natural Remedies for Cancer

Its important to keep in mind that if cancer is not easy to cure. Treatment involves an integrative approach so that the best outcome is achieved. 

Intravenous Vitamin C
Early clinical studies showed that high-dose vitamin C, given by intravenous and oral routes, may improve symptoms and prolong life in patients with cancer. Double-blind placebo-controlled studies of oral vitamin C therapy showed no benefit. Larges doses (50-100g) given intravenously may result in plasma concentrations of about 25 times higher than can be achieved with the oral route. At these high concentrations, vitamin C is toxic to some cancer cells but not to normal cells. High-dose injections of vitamin C reduced tumor weight and growth rate by about 50 percent in mouse models of brain, ovarian, and pancreatic cancers, researchers from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) report in the August 5, 2008 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The researchers traced the anti-cancer effect of vitamin C to the formation of hydrogen peroxide in the extra-cellular fluid surrounding the tumors. Normal cells were unaffected. Source: http://www.nih.gov/news/health/aug2008/niddk-04.htm.

Intravenous Glutathione
Glutathione plays important roles in antioxidant defense, nutrient metabolism, and regulation of cellular events (including gene expression, DNA and protein synthesis, cell proliferation and apoptosis, signal transduction, cytokine production and immune response, and protein glutathionylation). Glutathione deficiency contributes to oxidative stress, which plays a key role in aging and the progression of many diseases (including kwashiorkor, seizures, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, liver disease, cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anemia, HIV, AIDS, cancer, heart attack, stroke, and diabetes). Oral glutathione is not well absorbed.

Glutathione with Chemotherapy
The use of cisplatin and intravenous glutathione has been studied in several human trials. One human trial found of intravenous glutathione given 20 minutes prior to cisplatin led to a significant reduction in kidney toxicity in patients with ovarian cancer compared with those receiving cisplatin alone. There was a trend toward greater tumor response in the glutathione group--73 percent, compared to 62 percent in the control group. However, the trend toward greater tumor response with glutathione treatment was comparable. A double-blind trial studied the neuro-protective effect of intravenous glutathione during cisplatin treatment for gastric cancer. After nine weeks, no patient of the 24 receiving glutathione, but 16 of 18 patients receiving placebo, had developed neuropathy symptoms. Again, a trend toward greater tumor response was seen with glutathione treatment.
Glutathione also protects against the neurotoxicity of oxaliplatin, a relatively new chemotherapeutic used in the treatment of colorectal and other cancers, according to the results of a randomized controlled trial reported in the Aug. 15 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.